The US construction rental industry is amongst the largest around the world. In fact, the construction rental equipment industry managed to rake up a total revenue of $45 billion in 2019 alone. This sector alone contributes a crucial percentage to the GDP value of the country. It would, therefore, be an understatement to say that it plays an important role in driving up the economy.
Increasing rental sales also brings with it many opportunities for companies in this space. However, it also comes with its own set of construction rental challenges.
Some overarching challenges which most construction companies face with their rental operations include:
- Increase in competition among construction rental companies
- Inability to accurately track equipment locations
- Time-consuming manual processes
- Unavailability of equipment slowing down construction projects
Companies can easily deal with all these challenges. The answer is to search for ways to remove the inefficiencies in their current system. Let’s take a look at everything that the current system of construction companies lacks.
Traditional construction rental challenges
No construction rental company can function without its equipment. This is why efficiently tracking and managing the equipment is so vital for these businesses.
Currently, construction companies use paper files or spreadsheets to record the movement of their rental equipment. However, this manual process takes up ample time that could be better spent elsewhere. Moreover, the current system also results in equipment mismanagement and loss, among other problems.
Spreadsheets are still definitely an upgrade from paper files. However, they still are susceptible to human errors when entering and updating data. Also, there’s only so much you can do on spreadsheets, which is why they become cumbersome after a while. They just don’t offer the scalability that other rental software tools offer.
To get a better understanding of all the prevalent construction rental challenges, let’s dive deeper.
1. Time-consuming manual processes
Currently, customers have to manually rent out each tool they need. Let’s assume there’s a construction site that requires a brick hammer, a cordless drill, and other equipment. To rent all these items, customers currently have to look up all of these individually, and then rent them out one by one.
This wastes valuable time, both for the customer, and the company who then has to individually process a dozen order requests.
Instead, you can easily simplify the entire process if customers have the ability to rent out or reserve all the items together in one go. This would make things much smoother and faster for all the parties involved.
2. Difficulty in locating items
For construction companies, an accurate portrayal of their equipment storage locations looks something like this:
However, the current system of construction businesses fails to cater to these many sublocations. If a customer needs to rent out a brick hammer, you may have to spend hours running around trying to find it. To improve equipment visibility, it will help knowing where everything is within the overarching location of “Baltimore”.
Even if there is a system in place that caters to sublocations, it isn’t a very efficient one. Normally, employees will have to go through multiple tabs of a spreadsheet to find what items exist in Warehouse 1.
This makes for a lot of data to sift through every time you have to track down where a particular asset is.
3. Lack of control over what employees can view
In the traditional rental management system, any employee can view all the equipment available. This intuitively doesn’t make sense. Why should employees be able to view assets that have nothing to do with them?
An added issue with not restricting data view across employees is that it leads to lots of cluttered data for them to sift through. This simply takes up too much time and decreases employee productivity.
If employees can view the entire rental fleet, this means they can also rent out or return anything they want. Or worse yet, they can just walk away with whatever they want, without anyone knowing about it.
Of course, this creates many issues for the company. The number of misplaced or lost assets will increase. Moreover, the company will have to incur the cost of procuring newer assets to replace the old ones. As a result of such problems, 9 out of 10 construction projects experience cost overruns.
Instead, the relevant personnel should be able to view only the assets relevant to them. This declutters the way information is displayed and causes less confusion for all involved.
Overcoming construction rental challenges with EZRentOut
Now that we know of the challenges inherent in traditional construction rental systems, we can move on to look for solutions that resolve these challenges.
Dedicated equipment rental management software helps construction companies automate the renting out process. Customers don’t have to waste time renting out items individually.
Nor do employees face any difficulty in locating items anymore due to greater item visibility. This also enables companies to decrease instances of misplaced or lost equipment and wasted work hours.
Leading equipment rental management system – EZRentOut – offers all the above benefits and more. It seamlessly integrates with your current workflows instead of you having to undergo huge changes. You can easily shift from chasing your paper trails and spreadsheets to streamlined rental operations in days.
Here are some helpful EZRentOut features that solve some rental equipment management challenges prevalent in the construction industry.
1. Rent out items swiftly with Bundles
Bundles are perfect to package items that are usually rented out together. These can be a popular combination of items that you’ve noticed customers often rent out together. For instance, you know that nails and a hammer are always going to be rented out together. So you can easily bundle them to speed up the renting process.
This greatly simplifies the process for customers, who no longer have to individually rent out items one by one. You can also add promotional discounts to frequently rented out bundles.
Read More: Supercharged Bundles in EZRentOut
Bundles can also serve as a checklist for your projects. Let’s say someone is renting out a toolkit bundle for a construction project. They won’t have to worry about whether they rented out all the items they need or not.
The bundle will have a list of all items within it. Customers can easily go over the list and check if it has everything they want, without having to make a list of their own. This may save time and help rent the bundle out in a quick one-step process.
2. Improve item transparency with Sublocations
The Sublocations feature breaks down locations to their smallest possible units. This increases equipment transparency and also makes it easier for employees to locate the items.
You can create nested locations (a sublocation within a location). This means Baltimore becomes the parent location, under which you will nest sublocations, such as Head Office 1, Warehouse 1 and Rack 2 and so on. This greatly simplifies and speeds up things.
You no longer have to scurry around in vain trying to find a particular item. Sublocations help you precisely identify the exact location of an item, down to the very cabinet or rack you can possibly think of.
This feature also comes in handy when categorizing items. You can create a sublocation for each category. Let’s say you keep all your circular saws in the first drawer in Cabinet 5 of Warehouse 2. You can create a sublocation for this drawer. That location will then only contain items of a particular category – circular saws.
3. Control what employees view with User Listings
You can restrict the visibility of certain employees by creating User Listings in your EZRentOut account. This way, the employees get to view a decluttered version of the equipment data.
They only see what is relevant to them, resulting in a more simplistic view of the system. Consequently, this saves them time since they no longer have to go through unnecessary information.
Restricting access control of employees also results in improved equipment utilization. This is because only the authorized personnel will use the equipment. You don’t have to worry about anyone running off with equipment they’re not meant to use!
You can also ensure that restricted users don’t rent out equipment that isn’t authorized for them. This greatly decreases the misuse and loss of equipment as well.
User Listings allow you to restrict user access on the basis of different departments, project groups, locations, and sublocations.
Time to face these hurdles head-on
There are far too many challenges in the rental industry for construction companies to face them on their own. Especially, when the current system involves manual processes and inefficient use of spreadsheets.
An automated equipment rental management system saves you of these troubles. It pulls down your expenses and increases the efficiency of your rental processes.
Furthermore, your employees don’t have to worry about sifting through loads of unnecessary data anymore. And lastly, with EZRentOut’s supercharged Bundles feature, your customers can enjoy renting out multiple items conveniently.